BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is excited to announce the 2015 OUA men's soccer major awards and all-stars.
Midfielder Raheem Rose (Etobicoke, Ont.) led the Rams with nine goals in 15 games and has been named OUA East division Most Valuable Player and a first-team all-star. Rose, a second-year geographic analysis student-athlete, finished tied for fourth in the conference in goals. It has been a meteoric rise for Rose to start his OUA career as he went from being named Rookie of the Year in 2014 to MVP honours this season in just his second year in the conference.
Joining Rose on the OUA East first-team are a trio of Rams as defender Kyle Stewart (Kingston, Jamaica), midfielder Martin Dabrowski (Barrie, Ont.) and forward Nick Lambis (Pickering, Ont.) have also been selected to the squad. Stewart was named to the team after a strong defensive season in which he led a resolute Rams defence that allowed just 13 goals against in 16 games. Dabrowski, a fifth-year business management major, started in 14 of his 15 games played this season for the Rams and finished tied for fifth on the team with 3 goals. Following closely on the heels of his teammate Rose, Lambis finished second on the Rams with eight goals.
The Ryerson Rams finished the regular season 1st in the East division with an 11-2-3 record season regular and for his efforts, head coach Filip Prostran has been named the division's winner of the Coach of the Year award. Prostran had been an assistant the past five years but stepped into the head coach role this season and didn't miss a beat, winning 11 games which is the second most in a season in Rams history.
Since concluding the 2013-14 season with a 5-4-5 record, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues have rebounded in a big way, finishing the past two seasons with 35 points, good for second place in the East behind their rivals from Ryerson.
This season the Blues roster boasts five OUA all-stars as goalkeeper Rab Bruce-Lockhart (Victoria, B.C.), defenders Lukas MacNaughton (Brussels, Belgium) and Devon Bowyer (Toronto, Ont.), and midfielder Nikolay Saveliev (Nagoya, Japan) have been named to the first-team, while forward Nirun Sivananthan (Brampton, Ont.) has been selected to the second-team.
Starting in 13 games this season for the Blues, Bruce-Lockhart went 9-3-1 with a 0.62 goals against average and .830 save percentage good for 3rd and 4th position, respectively, in the conference. Combine that with the strong defensive prowess of MacNaughton and Bowyer, now a three-time OUA all-star, Toronto was one of the stingiest teams in the conference, allowing only 11 goals against in 16 games. When MacNaughton, who boasts his second straight all-star nod, wasn't helping keep the ball out of the net, he showed he could find the back of it, as he finished tied for second on the team with 3 goals. Saveliev proved to be stalwart up the middle for the Blues this season, as the third-year criminology major was the only Toronto player to play in and start all 16 regular season games. Sivanathan has been named an OUA second-team all-star after a season in which he led Toronto with 6 goals.
After a season in which he appeared in every game during his rookie season, Varsity Blues midfielder Yousef Helmy (Mississauga, Ont.) has been named OUA East division Rookie of the Year. Helmy, a kinesiology major, started in all but one of the Blues games this season, with the 5-foot-11 midfielder finding the back of the net once in his freshman campaign. However, it was his strong playmaking abilities that helped to pace the well-balanced Blues attack.
Carleton soared to an 8-2-6 record this season and a conspiracy of four Ravens have been selected as OUA all-stars.
Defender Michael Calof (Ottawa, Ont.), who started in 14 games this season for the Ravens, anchored a Carleton defence that allowed only 13 goals against in 16 games, finishing tied with the Rams for fourth best in the conference.
Not only is Calof a leader on the field for the Ravens, but off the field the fifth-year commerce student-athlete is an engaged member of the community and is this year's recipient of the OUA East division Community Service Award. Calof has organized numerous varsity game events this season to help assist in the fundraising efforts of local charities, including the Do It For Daron Foundation. In addition, Calof is the co-organizer of the Ravens' canned food drive and has established a youth alumni mentorship program at a local high school.
Joing Calof on the first-team is midfielder Theodore Lopez de Castilla (Ottawa, Ont.) and forward Andrew Bryan (Montreal, Que.), while goalkeeper Felix Daigle (Gatineau, Que.) has been selected to the second-team.
Lopez de Castilla, a fifth-year computer science major, appeared in and started 13 games this season for the Ravens, scoring one goal while helping to pace a Carleton attack that found the back of the net 26 times. Ten of those goals came off the boot of Bryan, who led the team in scoring and finished 4th in the East. In just his second year with the Ravens, Daigle snatched the starter's job and only allowed seven goals against in his 13 games this season.
Four Queen's players have been named second-team all-stars, following a season in which the Gaels finished third in the East division with a 9-2-5 record.
A pair of defenders, Kristian Zannette (Thunder Bay, Ont.) and Sam Aberbathy (Halifax, N.S.), formed a robust duo on the backend for a Gaels squad that averaged just over a goal a game against this season. In the middle, Oliver Coren (Toronto, Ont.), a fourth-year midfielder, not only helped pace the Gaels offence with his strong passing and playmaking abilities, but also found the back of the net three times this season. In just his second season with the Gaels, forward Jacob Schroeter (Ottawa, Ont.) led Queen's with six goals in nine games this season, including a stretch of goals in five straight games in September.
Despite finishing the season seventh in the division with a 4-9-3 record, Laurentian Voyageurs defenders Nick Franke (Little Current, Ont.) and Cole Giffin (Kingston, Ont.), along with midfielder Omar Allison (Brampton, Ont.) have been named second-team all-stars. Franke and Giffin have been selected to the squad based on their strong play along the Voyageurs backline, while Allison was a strong presence in the middle of the field for Laurentian.
Rounding out the second-team all-star selections is Nipissing Lakers midfielder Jean-Michael Paulin (North Bay, Ont.) and UOIT Ridgebacks midfielder Erik Petrovic (Sombor, Serbia).
Petrovic, a third-year business commerce student-athlete, led UOIT with six goals and becomes the Ridgebacks first men's soccer all-star since Justin Gordon was named to the second team in 2012. Paulin led the Lakers with eight goals in 15 games.
Once again this season, the defending champion York Lions set the pace in the West, finishing first in the division with a 13-1-2 regular season record and a roster that features six first-team all-stars. Goalkeeper Colm Vance (Bradford, Ont.), defender Tyrone Downes (Markham, Ont.), midfielders Jonathan Lao (Unionville, Ont.), Joey Cicchillo (North York, Ont.), and Jarek Whiteman (Brampton, Ont.), along with forward Michael Cox (Calgary, Alta.) have all been given the nod following outstanding seasons.
Vance led OUA with a tidy 0.52 GAA, as the fifth-year kinesiology & health science student-athlete only allowed eight goals in 16 games this season, including shutouts in nine of those games. Downes anchored a Lions defence that allowed the least amount of goals against in the conference and concluded the regular season with clean sheets in six of their final eight games. It's no wonder that the Lions also led the league in goals for as the aforementioned midfield trio of Lao, Cicchillo and Whiteman scored a combined 16 goals this season for York. When you take into account the league leading 16 goals that Cox scored this season, the Lions possess one of the deepest rosters in not only the conference but also the country and appear poised to make another potential championship run this weekend.
After going 8-7-1 in 2014, the Windsor Lancers had one of the biggest bounce back seasons in the conference, finishing second in the West with a 12-2-2 record and five OUA all-stars in their lineup. One of the men responsible for the turnaround is Lancers head coach Steve Hart has who is this year's recipient of the OUA West division Coach of the Year award.
On the field, the Lancers were led this season by forward Leighton Speechley-Price (Lymington, England) who has been recognized as the OUA West division Most Valuable Player and a first-team all-star. Speechley-Price, a third-year business major, finished tied for second in the conference with 11 goals, while appearing in 15 of 16 games this season for the Lancers. Earlier this season, the Lymington, England native scored both game-winning goals in a pair of shutout wins over Waterloo and Laurier and was named OUA Athlete of the Week for his efforts.
Joining Speechley-Price as a first-team all-star is defender Akbal Gill (Surrey, B.C.) and midfielder Michael Pio (Windsor, Ont.). Suiting up for the Lancers in 15 games this season, Gill solidified a back line that only allowed 13 goals against and the fifth-year biology major has been named an all-star for his defensive poise and presence for Windsor. Pio joins teammates Gill and Speechley-Price on the first-team after he scored 6 goals this season, tied for third-most on the team.
The Lancers can point to a pair of Pio's for their success this season as Michael's younger brother, forward Noah Pio (Windsor, Ont.), has been named OUA West division Rookie of the Year. In just his first season in blue and gold, the freshman striker appeared in 14 games for Windsor and finished the year fourth on the team with five goals.
Windsor also features a couple of second-team all-stars as goalkeeper Kyle Vizirakis (Windsor, Ont.) and midfielder Jack Sargent (Liverpool, England) have been selected to the squad. Appearing in all 16 games for the Lancers, Viziakis finished the season fourth in OUA with a 0.79 GAA and only allowed more than 2 goals against in a game once this season. His 11 shutouts was the most by any goaltender in the country this season. Sargent, who like Speechley-Price hails from across the pond in England, scored three goals this season for the Lancers, but the shifty midfielder is mostly known for his strong two-way game and playmaking abilities.
Led by first-team all-star defender Justin Springer (Burlington, Ont.), along with a pair second-team all-stars, midfielder Ethan Danielli (Guelph, Ont.) and forward Jace Kotsopoulos (Burlington, Ont.), the Guelph Gryphons finished the season fourth in the West division with a 9-5-2 record.
Springer, a fourth-year history major, was one of five Gryphons players to play in all 16 games this season, however, the defender was the only one to start every game, anchoring a Guelph backline that surrendered one goal per game on average this year. Like Springer, Danielli also appeared in all 16 games for Guelph this season, finding the back of the net three times. In just his first season with the Gryphons, Kotsopoulos led Guelph and finished tied for second in the league with 11 goals in 15 games.
A trio of McMaster Marauders have been named OUA West all-stars as defenders Nic Vecchi (Niagara Falls, Ont.) and Marco Gennacaro (Hamilton, Ont.), as well as midfielder Ryan Garnett (Kitchener, Ont.) have been recognized following outstanding regular season campaigns.
Vecchi, a third-year honours psychology, neuroscience and behavior student-athlete, is a first-team selection following a strong defensive season for the Marauders. Appearing in 15 games for McMaster, Gennaccaro not only was a reliable defender but also found the back of the net twice and was named to the second-team. In the middle, the strong two-way play and leadership of Garnett was recognized as the fourth-year electrical engineering major was named to the second-team as well.
McMaster Marauders midfielder Ross Genovese (Hamilton, Ont.) has been acknowledged with the OUA West division Community Service Award for his efforts off the pitch. Genovese, an honours life sciences student-athlete, has been the team representative on the McMaster Athletes Care program since 2012, where he leads the Marauders fundraising initiatives and organizes visits with children at the McMaster Children's Hospital. When he's not on the field, Genovese also volunteers with "Changing the World Through Literacy" where he is a mentor to at-risk children at the Riverdale Community Centre. This past summer, Genovese became the head coach of Hamilton Sparta Soccer Club U-8 Boys team.
Defender Aaron Schneebeli (Kitchener, Ont.) and midfielder Parker Seymour (Toronto, Ont.) have both been named OUA West division second-team all-stars after they helped the Western Mustangs to a fifth place finish this season.
Schneebeli, a third-year King's College student-athlete, appeared in and started 14 games this year for the Mustangs, providing Western with an elite defensive presence. Seymour, who also started in 14 games, led the Mustangs with six goals.
Laurier Golden Hawks defender Tahrik Rodriques (Scarborough, Ont.), Brock Badgers defender Eric Bradey (Guelph, Ont.) and Waterloo Warriors striker Jae Jin Lee (Toronto) round out the OUA West second-team all-star selections.
Rodriques, a second-year biology major was recognized this season for his exceptional defensive prowess and his ability to control the play for the Golden Hawks. Starting all 16 games this season for the Badgers, Bradey is a proven leader who directed the Brock defence. In his rookie season with the black and gold, Lee, a first-year nanotechnology major, led the Warriors with six goals in 13 games.
The OUA Men's Soccer Final Four Championship begins on Friday at 11:00am with the first semifinal matchup between the McMaster Marauders and Ryerson Rams, followed by University of Toronto Varsity Blues taking on the host York Lions. All games this weekend will be take place at York University Stadium and will be streamed live on OUA.tv.
EAST DIVISION MAJOR AWARDS
Most Valuable Player – Raheem Rose – Ryerson Rams
Rookie of the Year – Yousef Helmy – Toronto Varsity Blues
Coach of the Year – Filip Prostran – Ryerson Rams
Community Service Award – Michael Calof – Carleton Ravens
WEST DIVISION MAJOR AWARDS
Most Valuable Player – Leighton Speechley-Price – Windsor Lancers
Rookie of the Year – Noah Pio – Windsor Lancers
Coach of the Year – Steve Hart – Windsor Lancers
Community Service Award – Ross Genovese – McMaster Marauders
EAST DIVISION FIRST-TEAM ALL-STARS
Rab Bruce-Lockhart – Toronto Varsity Blues – Goalkeeper
Lukas MacNaughton – Toronto Varsity Blues – Defender
Kyle Stewart – Ryerson Rams – Defender
Devon Bowyer – Toronto Varsity Blues – Defender
Michael Calof – Carleton Ravens – Defender
Raheem Rose – Ryerson Rams – Midfielder
Martin Dabrowski – Ryerson Rams – Midfielder
Nikolay Saveliev – Toronto Varsity Blues – Midfielder
Theodore Lopez de Castilla – Carleton Ravens – Midfielder
Nick Lambis – Ryerson Rams – Forward
Andrew Bryan – Carleton Ravens – Forward
EAST DIVISION SECOND-TEAM ALL-STARS
Felix Daigle – Carleton RavFRens – Goalkeeper
Kristian Zanette – Queen's Gaels – Defender
Sam Abernathy – Queen's Gaels – Defender
Nick Franke – Laurentian Voyageurs – Defender
Cole Giffin – Laurentian Voyageurs – Defender
Omar Allison – Laurentian Voyageurs – Midfielder
Oliver Coren – Queen's Gaels – Midfielder
Jean-Michel Paulin – Nipissing Lakers – Midfielder
Erik Petrovic – UOIT Ridgebacks – Midfielder
Nirun Sivananthan – Toronto Varsity Blues – Forward
Jacob Schroeter – Queen's Gaels – Forward
WEST DIVISION FIRST-TEAM ALL-STARS
Colm Vance – York Lions – Goalkeeper
Tyrone Downes – York Lions – Defender
Justin Springer – Guelph Gryphons – Defender
Akbal Gill – Windsor Lancers – Defender
Nic Vecchi – McMaster Marauders – Defender
Jonathan Lao – York Lions – Midfielder
Joey Cicchillo – York Lions – Midfielder
Michael Pio – Windsor Lancers – Midfielder
Jarek Whiteman – York Lions – Midfielder
Leighton Speechley-Price – Windsor Lancers – Forward
Michael Cox – York Lions – Forward
WEST DIVISION SECOND-TEAM ALL-STARS
Kyle Vizirakis – Windsor Lancers – Goalkeeper
Tahrik Rodriques – Laurier Golden Hawks – Defender
Aaron Schneebeli – Western Mustangs – Defender
Eric Bradey – Brock Badgers – Defender
Marco Gennaccaro – McMaster Marauders – Defender
Jack Sargent – Windsor Lancers – Midfielder
Ryan Garnett – McMaster Marauders – Midfielder
Ethan Danielli – Guelph Gryphons – Midfielder
Parker Seymour – Western Mustangs – Midfielder
Jae Jin Lee – Wateloo Warriors – Forward
Jace Kotsopoulos – Guelph Gryphons – Forward